The Tales from the Talisman.
Bobjee was fairly well to do (traversing so to say towards the tip of the upper middle class) and in his mid forties. Has a loving wife, two affectionate daughters, who hug him and smother him with kisses soon as he comes from office. Why, even has a driver who courteously opens the door irrespective of where Bobjee sits in the car. What more can a man ask for? Bobjee went for his morning walks and to the club in the evening for cards and the cause for walks – beer. On holidays he frequented the art galleries and antique joints sinequonon of those who have arrival.
One Saturday afternoon he went to an antique shop and was very much impressed by a talisman, perhaps of Viking vintage, with inscrutable inscriptions, adorning a statue. With great difficulty he got the dealer to part with the talisman alone but at quite a price. He was walking towards the car with the talisman. Selvaraj, the driver, was positioning himself to receive Bobjee with the customary courtesy. As Bobjee was stepping into the car he could hear Selvaraj’s inner voice cursing him “can this obese and opulent swine not open the door himself. One of these days I am going to ‘inadvertently’ crush his fingers by banging the door”.
Bobjee was naturally disillusioned. He took out the purse and paid off the notice period salary to Selvaraj and took the wheel himself. Reached the club to be amid his friend for a glass of restorer. As usual his friends greeted him with the usual bonhomie. But Bobjee could hear their inner voice ridiculing him “why the pest now? Just because he stands our drinks he thinks he can kill us with his insipid jokes” Bobjee was stupefied. He told his club mates that this was his farewell drink and walked away.
He brought the car to a halt at his home which he reached instinctively, his intellect still smarting under the twin treachery of his trusted driver and bosom club pals. It was a tonic, therefore, when his darling daughters came running to the gate bursting niceties like ‘Hi daddy’. As they came nearer he could hear their inner voices depicting their daddy despicably – “Look at this miser. For the pittance he gives us as allowance he expects affection and love. See how Vinaya’s father gives her the car for picnics and to go to pictures. How we wish we can swap fathers”. This salvo struck Bobjee rather heavily. He patted the girls and sauntered round the house to the garden where his wife was watering the rose beds. She was completely covered, with a worked up face ‘irked’ at the neighbour – Dubai John’s ogling. Bobjee walked towards her – the last bastion in the crumbling castle. As he got near he could hear his wife’s inner voice – also in the same vein as that of his driver, friends and his daughters. “What is wrong in John ogling me – a well preserved middle-aged woman? I would not mind a man like him for a husband. Look at the different cars he has, how he dresses etc.” Bobjee did not hear any more – after all from the garage to the bedroom was only a short drive.
He called the wife and daughters to the drawing room. His gait faltered to a hesitant drag feet with an anguish matching that of Julius Caesar when he was felled by Brutus. He told them he would be gone for a while, but assured them they would be well provided.
He walked towards the hill never to come back. He threw away the talisman as he was in communion with nature. In any case there was none with a voice inner or otherwise in the vicinity. Some said he was disillusioned, some said he had renounced material comfort. Others said he had gone crazy. None knew, however, he was a hermit made the hard way by hearing hypocrisy all around him.
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